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Joshua Minchin ’20

Aug. 19, 2020—After graduating from the University of Florida, Joshua Minchin married his high school debate partner and moved with her to Hong Kong, where she was a Fulbright Scholar. Joshua taught public speaking to business students at Hang Seng University, and both worked hard to learn to speak Cantonese. When the couple returned to the United States, they settled in Nashville, where...

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Natalie Komrovsky ’20

Aug. 5, 2020—After earning her undergraduate degree, Natalie Komrovsky worked as a project manager for a translation company in Boston before moving to Russia to work for a nonprofit serving orphans and as an editor and translator for a Russian investment bank. When she decided to return to the U.S. to earn a J.D., she had to...

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Jeff Turner ’20

Jul. 16, 2020—After earning his undergraduate degree in sport management, Jeff Turner moved to Detroit to work as an assistant coach for the men’s lacrosse team at the University of Detroit Mercy. “Coaching was a great job and something I was really passionate about. It was a hard decision to leave the sport of lacrosse and change...

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Joline Desruisseaux ’20

Jul. 16, 2020—Joline Desruisseaux applied to nine law schools and was offered full scholarships to three. Then she visited Vanderbilt. “I immediately felt that Vanderbilt Law was the right fit for me, and I knew my time at Vanderbilt would be worth the investment I was going to make,” she said. Joline minored in French, which she...

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Marisa Papenfuss ’20

May. 29, 2020—The summer after her 1L year, Marisa Papenfuss made a surprising discovery while working in Washington, D.C., as a legal intern in the Enforcement Division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: She loved securities law. “Securities laws touch every facet of the markets,” she said. “That really fascinated me.” Her interest was confirmed the...

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Joey Blake ’20

Apr. 10, 2020—Joey Blake became the first lawyer in his family when he received his J.D. in May 2020. Joey entered law school after working for two years at Oracle America; he included Vanderbilt among the 16 law schools to which he applied because of its strong Intellectual Property Program. “IP was definitely an area I was...

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Emily Sachs ’20

Feb. 23, 2020—Vanderbilt rose to the top of Emily Sachs’ list because it offered several opportunities to gain expertise and experience in health law. Sachs had designed her own major in bioethics at Muhlenberg College before law school. After applying to 22 law schools, she ultimately chose Vanderbilt because “the health law opportunities, such as the Health...

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Adrielle Conner ’20

Feb. 5, 2020—Adrielle Conner’s journey to Vanderbilt started with her goal to be a community-oriented advocate. She knew law school would help her achieve this goal and identified three important factors in choosing a law school: A strong record of job placement nationwide, professors who mentored students, and a collegial atmosphere. “Vanderbilt was at the intersection of...

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Sarah Anderson ’21

Feb. 5, 2020—Sarah Anderson chose Vanderbilt for its national reach and the support it provides students who wish to practice public interest law. “Vanderbilt sends graduates all over the country, and I didn’t know where I wanted to live,” she said. “And, as an environmental studies major, I was interested in practicing law in the public interest.”...

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Jin Yoshikawa ’20

Feb. 4, 2020—Jin Yoshikawa chose Vanderbilt Law School both for the collegial culture and the intellectual climate. “Vanderbilt produces the kind of lawyer I wanted to be—sharp but not pretentious, articulate but plain-spoken, persuasive but polite,” he said. “I also wanted a solid foundation in the law.” During his time at Vanderbilt, Yoshikawa has appreciated the rigorous...

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Will Pugh ’19

Jul. 11, 2019—After earning his undergraduate degree in business and economics at Wheaton College (Illinois), Will Pugh returned to his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama, to become the second full-time employee of a start-up company he had helped launch as a summer employee during college. The company, Atlas RFID Solutions Store, provided an online market for radio frequency...

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Vivek Biswas ’19

Jun. 26, 2019—Vivek Biswas knew he was interested in patent law before applying for law school. After earning his degree in chemical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, Biswas spent a year working as a law clerk at a St. Louis firm before starting law school. “That gave me a taste for what the work would...

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Hunter Thornton J.D./M.S.F. ’19

Feb. 26, 2019—Hunter Thornton had initially considered earning a J.D./M.B.A. before deciding on Vanderbilt’s J.D./Master’s of Science in Finance, which he could complete in three years. “My interest in finance was well-seeded before I applied to law school, and the J.D./M.S.F. program really intrigued me,” he said. Students who discover they have an interest in corporate transactional...

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Matthew Washnock ’19

Nov. 9, 2018—After earning his undergraduate degree from Rhodes College, Matthew Washnock worked for two years at Benefit Recovery Group, a Memphis-based company that recovers medical liens for large, employer-funded healthcare plans administered by its Fortune 500 clients. The job involved working with lawyers and insurance professionals and introduced him to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act,...

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Josh Landis ’19 (BS’14)

Nov. 7, 2018—After earning his undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt, Josh Landis’s plan was to work for a couple of years and then earn a graduate business degree. But while working in New York City at AlphaSights, a London-based company that supports major corporations and institutional investors by providing customized research services, he began contemplating a career change....

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JD Fox ’19

Nov. 2, 2018—JD Fox was looking for a law school with rigorous academics, a strong sense of community and a solid record of placing students in federal judicial clerkships. He applied to seven law schools, but he recalls having an “aha moment” when he sat in on a class during his visit to Vanderbilt. “The professor made...

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Jenae Ward ’19

Oct. 30, 2018—Jenae Ward spent three years in Montgomery, Alabama, teaching middle school through Teach for America, during which she earned a teaching certificate from Athens State University and Auburn University of Montgomery. But, while Ward enjoyed teaching and coaching girls’ basketball, co-ed soccer and track, she had long set her sights on a career in law....

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Griffin Farha ’19

Oct. 26, 2018—After Griffin Farha narrowed his choices to two law schools, his visit to Vanderbilt became the deciding factor. “I found that Vanderbilt’s culture optimizes what I call the ‘smarts-to-stuffiness’ ratio,” he said. “I was immediately impressed by the intelligence and curiosity of Vanderbilt students. At the same time, I noticed they genuinely enjoyed the company...

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Randy Hiroshige ’20 J.D./M.T.S.

Oct. 16, 2018—Randy Hiroshige’s undergraduate courses in ethics and philosophy led him to consider a career in law. “During college, I started to see how structures propagate injustice and developed an ethical commitment to helping those ground down by legal structures,” he said. His desire to pursue graduate degrees in both law and theology led him to...

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Claudia Stantzyk-Guzek ’19

Oct. 9, 2018—When Claudia Stantzyk-Guzek and her partner, Emily Grand ’19, won the 2018 Bass Berry & Sims Moot Court Competition, their victory was the culmination of more than five months of work and six rounds of competition. “Experiences like Moot Court and working on a journal enhance your skills and help you put things you’ve learned...

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Chris Gracey ’19

Oct. 2, 2018—Chris Gracey had not imagined a career in law until he took an undergraduate class in international law from Professor Rodelio Manacsa, a native of the Philippines who earned his Ph.D. in political science at Vanderbilt University. Chris found the class transformative. During his remaining time at Sewanee, he took every course Professor Manacsa taught...

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Julie Rooney ’18

May. 15, 2018—As an undergraduate at Denison University in her home state of Ohio, Julie Rooney captained her school’s women’s softball team and graduated Phi Beta Kappa, winning the President’s medal. Rooney found the discipline that enabled her to excel academically and athletically in college extremely useful in law school, enabling her to join the staff of...

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Thomas E. Johnson ’18

May. 10, 2018—Vanderbilt Law School met a number of criteria Tom Johnson identified as important when he began applying to law schools as a senior at the University of Richmond. “I was interested in Vanderbilt’s Energy, Environmental and Law Use Program, it was located in the South, and it was very competitively ranked,” Johnson recalled. “I had...

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Amber Banks ’20

Apr. 23, 2018—After earning her degree in government at the University of Virginia, Amber Banks spent eight years focusing on reproductive justice, spending most of that time as an employee of NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland, and also as part of the all-volunteer leadership of The Female Experience, a D.C.-based nonprofit. “I saw, over and over, that reproductive justice...

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Dora Duru ’20

Apr. 3, 2018—Dora Duru first became interested in international human rights as a high school student. That led her to major in international relations at Stanford University. When she decided to pursue a law degree, she looked for schools with strong international programs. She chose Vanderbilt based on her positive experience attending an Admitted Students Day, and...

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